Education study spotlights abortion

NZPA 10 April 2007
A new study showing young women who have abortions gain higher educational achievement than those who continue with their pregnancies highlights the need for further research into how abortions affect women, researchers say. The report, from the Christchurch Health and Development Study, is based on data obtained during a study of 1265 children born in Christchurch in mid-1977 from infancy to adulthood. A group of 492 female participants who became pregnant between the ages of 15 and 21 were included in the report, with evaluations of their education, employment, welfare dependence, and relationships from ages 21 to 25. Of the pregnancies, 55 per cent had resulted in live births; 31 per cent had been terminated; and 14 per cent resulted in miscarriage. The researchers found those having abortions had advantages in terms of educational and economic outcomes compared to those becoming pregnant but not seeking abortions. Women who had abortions had similar outcomes to women who did not become pregnant before the age of 21…The report follows one released last year, which showed 42 per cent of those who had abortions had also experienced major depression at some stage during the previous four years. This was nearly double the rate of those who had never been pregnant and 35 per cent higher than those who had chosen to continue a pregnancy.